Whaling talks suspended as deadlock continues


A dead minke whale sits next to the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru

Within an hour of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opening in Morocco, official talks were suspended for two days.

Representatives from more than 80 nations had gathered for the annual IWC meeting, set to be the most controversial in years.

But the deputy chair of the IWC has called for private talks to break the deadlock.

Australia is concerned by the development and says it "shuts down the official process which has been underway for two years".

The sticking point remains over a proposal to overturn a 24-year ban on commercial whaling.

Under the IWC draft proposal, which Australia is opposing, Japan would be allowed to catch 120 whales a year in its coastal waters.

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